Immigrate To Canada As A Respiratory Therapist: All You Need To Know

Immigrate To Canada As A Respiratory Therapist: All You Need To Know
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Are you a candidate with skills and qualifications in one of Canada’s 82 jobs for occupation-specific Express Entry draws? We want to help you move to Canada. Please submit your CV here.

A growing shortage of respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists in Canada is expected to provide even more opportunities for foreign nationals to gain their permanent residence here through occupation-targeted Express Entry system draws.

The Canadian Occupational Projection System (COPS) website is projecting the shortage of these healthcare workers to grow by another 700 positions across the country by 2031.

“Over the period 2022 – 2031, the number of job openings arising from expansion demand and replacement demand for respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists, medical radiation technologists and medical sonographers are expected to total 20,100, while the number of job seekers arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility is expected to total 19,400,” notes the COPS website.

“As job openings and job seekers are projected to be relatively similar over the 2022 – 2031 period, the labour shortage conditions seen in recent years are expected to continue over the projection period.”

Aging Baby Boomers will drive much of that demand for these healthcare workers.

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“This strong growth is mostly due to the aging population. The growing number of seniors is anticipated to lead to an increase in the demand for diagnostic services related to respiratory and cardiovascular health conditions,” notes the COPS website.

“Additionally, respiratory therapists will continue to play a key role in the rehabilitation of individuals who suffered acutely from COVID-19. Moreover, the arrival of new medical technologies and techniques, as well as the introduction of more advanced equipment, will increase the demand for technologists.”

With Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) changing Canada’s Express Entry system to allow it to target 82 jobs in healthcare, technology, trades, transport and agriculture this summer – including respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists – it opened the door to a new pathway to immigration for them.

Job Bank, the federal government’s job-hunting and career-planning website, listed 50 jobs for respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists in Canada in early November.

The job prospects of respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists, categorized under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) 2021 system with the code 32103, are ranked as very good, Job Bank’s highest rating, in New Brunswick over the coming three years and good throughout the rest of the country.

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In May this year, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) made all of these workers eligible for immigration to Canada Express Entry occupation-targeted draws.

The flagship Express Entry selection system had previously only conducted draws based on immigration programs, not by targeting specific occupations.

“Everywhere I go, I’ve heard loud and clear from employers across the country who are experiencing chronic labour shortages,” said then-Immigration Minister Sean Fraser.

“These changes to the Express Entry system will ensure that they have the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed.  We can also grow our economy and help businesses with labour shortages while also increasing the number of French-proficient candidates to help ensure the vitality of French-speaking communities.”

In Canada, the median hourly wage for respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists is  $37 but that varies from a low of $26 right up to $48.08, reveals Job Bank.

Respiratory Therapists Can Earn Up To $93,756 Annually In Canada

Based on a 37.5-hour work week, that means respiratory therapists, clinical perfusionists and cardiopulmonary technologists can expect to earn up to $93,756 annually in Canada.

Candidates hoping to immigrate through Express Entry occupation-targeted draws need at least six months of continuous work experience in Canada or abroad within the past three years in one of these occupations to be eligible, experience that can have been gained while working in Canada as temporary foreign workers with a work permits or as an international student with a student visa.

Under the changes announced at the end of May, the Express Entry streams, including the Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) program, Federal Skilled Trades (FST) program and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), as well as parts of the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP) are now more responsive to labour market needs.

Canada first signalled its intention to start occupation-specific draws through Express Entry in June last year, when changes were made to the Immigration, Refugee and Protection Act to allow invitations based on occupations and other attributes, such as language ability.

The majority of Canada’s provinces have been issuing occupation-specific invitations for several years.

Under the changes to the act, the immigration minister is required to consult provinces and territories, members of industry, unions, employers, workers, worker advocacy groups, settlement provider organizations, and immigration researchers and practitioners, before announcing new categories.

IRCC must also report to parliament each year on the categories that were chosen and the reason for the choices.

Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) says the number of occupations facing shortages doubled between 2019 and 2021. From 2018 to 2022, federal high skilled admissions accounted for between 34 and 40 per cent of overall French-speaking admissions outside Quebec, which manages its own immigration intake.

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Colin Singer
Colin Singer is an international acclaimed Canadian immigration lawyer and founder of featured on Wikipedia. Colin Singer is also founding director of the Canadian Citizenship & Immigration Resource Center (CCIRC) Inc. He served as an Associate Editor of ‘Immigration Law Reporter’, the pre-eminent immigration law publication in Canada. He previously served as an executive member of the Canadian Bar Association’s Quebec and National Immigration Law Sections and is currently a member of the Canadian Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. Colin has twice appeared as an expert witness before Canada’s House of Commons Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration. He is frequently recognized as a recommended authority at national conferences sponsored by government and non-government organizations on matters affecting Canada’s immigration and human resource industries. Since 2009, Colin has been a Governor of the Quebec Bar Foundation a non-profit organization committed to the advancement of the profession, and became a lifetime member in 2018.